The Telangana Cop Rescuing Domestic Violence Survivors Amid COVID

The rise in domestic violence cases has motivated her to set up 'Mobile Safety'

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Ever since the country went into lockdown in March, there has been a surge in domestic violence cases not just in India, but across the world as well. Survivors are at a higher risk to violence at the moment. In India, it was the National Commission for Women that raised concerns and brought attention to the same. A Telangana police officer has opened up about her experience of helping out such survivors. Her story was shared by the Instagram page Humans of Bombay.

The caption of the post talks about how, just a month into lockdown, a woman from Kanpur called up Mahabubnagar's Superintendent of Police Rema Rajeshwari. She was worried as she had not heard from her sister in 3 days. The woman also revealed that her sister's husband would hit her and she was worried that might happen again.

"So we sent a dispatch team and found her in such a terrible condition, it shook me. She was badly bruised, hadn't had a single drop of water in 3 days and was writhing in pain. We rushed her to the hospital and filed a case against the husband."

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“A month into the lockdown, a lady called me from Kanpur. She was extremely distressed as her sister hadn't called in 3 days. Her husband would hit her and she worried it had happened again. So we sent a dispatch team and found her in such a terrible condition, it shook me. She was badly bruised, hadn't had a single drop of water in 3 days and was writhing in pain. We rushed her to the hospital and filed a case against the husband. 3 days later, she fully recovered, but her sister called again, 'Can you please send her home to me?' So I got all the passes for inter-state travel and made sure she was home safely. That incident was an eye opener– there were so many victims of domestic violence living with their abusers and they couldn't even file a complaint! To help them, I set up 'Mobile Safety'– a vehicle with my team members doing rounds across the district and in 2 weeks, we had 40 cases! Alongside, more members of my team stepped up to help the general populace. Like this one time, we dropped a pregnant lady to the hospital in the police ambulance. When my colleague returned, he was beaming! He was so excited to be there for her and her newborn son! But as the rules got stricter, my team was stretched thin – from naka bandhis to contact tracing. And pretty soon, the migrants began going back home. We set up shelters and tried convincing them to stay but it was futile. So we set up food banks along the highway– and once the railways finally opened, we helped 11,000 workers reach home in under 15 days. Over the past 3 months, my team has put their lives at stake and risked their families, so that we could help people. But last week, a majority of them tested positive and have been quarantined. Still, the only question they ask me is, 'Madam! When can we get back in action?' Such is the love for our duty!”

A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on

Further, the survivor's sister requested if the former could be sent to her home. The Telangana police officer then arranged for all adequate interstate travel passes and ensured that the survivor reaches home safely.

However, it’s this incident that served as an “eye opener” for the cop and motivated her to set up ‘Mobile Safety,’ which is a vehicle with her team members doing the rounds of the city.

Rajeshwari's team has been very proactive. From helping pregnant women reach the hospital in the police ambulance to setting up food banks for migrant workers travelling home on highways, they've been very helpful.

Unfortunately, just a week ago, a majority of Rajeshwari's team members have tested COVID positive. They're currently recovering and in quarantine but looking forward to returning to work soon!

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